Friday, March 29, 2019

Weird world out there, especially in Colorado

 “A certain man once lost a diamond cuff-link in the wide blue sea, and twenty years later, on the exact day, a Friday apparently, he was eating a large fish - but there was no diamond inside. That’s what I like about coincidence.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Laughter in the Dark 

 What do I like about coincidence?

 By Rob Carrigan,

It is a weird, weird world out there. And no place illustrates that more than Colorado.  Kidnapping, murder, brew magnates under duress, gangsters, big stories, FBI and hard times in the '30s,  all just part of the package. Just watch how these facts unfold. And please, think about what holds them all together.

Very few people know that Charles Lindbergh was also a pioneer in the field of aerial archaeology. Vocational historian and writer Erik Berg has extensively researched Lindbergh’s life and aerial archaeological surveys, bringing to light his efforts to help locate and document ancient sites and landscapes. “Lindbergh always had broad and varied interests and his fame from the 1927 Atlantic flight opened a lot of doors for him to indulge those interests,” said Berg.

Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings and settlements in Canyon de Chelly in Arizona, and Chaco Canyon and the Pecos Valley in New Mexico are the subject of numerous Charles Lindbergh photographs. In the day, he quickly volunteered to photograph these areas when flying nearby.

“Lindbergh was always looking for new uses for aviation, and since he was already flying through both these regions as part of his airline work, he volunteered his time and plane,” explained Berg. “For Lindbergh, it was both a way to indulge in a new interest, archaeology, and further the cause of aviation as a tool for science.”

Lindbergh and, his famous wife Ann Morrow, spent a considerable amount of time in Colorado, and came often to Grand County, Colorado, as guests of Harry F. Knight whose ranch encompassed 1,500 acres on the South Fork of the Colorado River.  The ranch today is covered by the waters of the Granby Reservoir.

Also, according to a 1927 Denver Post article, Colonel Charles Lindbergh found the state welcoming before. The aviator did not like to eat in his airplane—even during very long trips. He claimed to not desire food when flying. And besides, to eat and control an aircraft was much too difficult.

"So when Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis arrived in Denver at 2 p.m. on August 31, 1927—some eight hours after taking off in Omaha—the famed aviator was presumably famished. What did the Queen City serve him?"

Reports in the paper said the first course of “Fruit Surprise” followed by a consommé. A palate cleanser of celery, pecans, and olives. An entrée of broiled spring chicken with peas and au gratin potatoes. A hearts of lettuce salad drizzled with Thousand Island dressing.

"These dishes were presented to Colonel Lindbergh and a crowd of 1,000 during a banquet held at Denver’s one-year-old Cosmopolitan Hotel. Lindbergh was in town to promote U.S. commercial aviation and to urge the city to build its own airport—all while he dined on Lindbergh mousse, petit fours, and Original Manitou Pale Dry Champagne (as these were Prohibition times, the “champagne” was actually ginger ale made with naturally carbonated spring water from nearby Manitou Springs, Colo.)," The Post said.

Even though the pilot stayed in Denver for only 18 hours, Denverites caught a severe case of Lindbergh fever, according to later editions of the Denver Post. On the morning of September 1, 1927, an estimated 50,000 people gathered at Lowry Field to wish Lindbergh well as he flew on to Pierre, South Dakota.

On March 1, 1932, Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr., 20-month-old son of aviator Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, was abducted from the crib in the upper floor of his home in Highfields in East Amwell, New Jersey, On May 12, the child's corpse was discovered by a truck driver off the side of a nearby road.

In September 1934, a German immigrant carpenter named Richard Hauptmann was arrested for the crime. After a trial that lasted from January 2 to February 13, 1935, he was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. Despite his conviction, he continued to profess his innocence, but all appeals failed and he was executed in the electric chair at the New Jersey State Prison on April 3, 1936.

Newspaper writer H. L. Mencken called the kidnapping and trial "the biggest story since the Resurrection." Legal scholars have referred to the trial as one of the "trials of the century". The crime spurred Congress to pass the Federal Kidnapping Act, commonly called the "Lindbergh Law", which made transporting a kidnapping victim across state lines a federal crime.

Verne Sankey worked on the Canadian Pacific Railway in his youth and later attempted to start a farm in South Dakota. When the farm failed, he and Gordon Alcorn began robbing banks in Canada and the United States. The two men eventually decided to try kidnapping and, in June 1932, they abducted Haskell Bohn in St. Paul, Minnesota. Bohn was the son of a local refrigerator magnate and they demanded $35,000 for his release, but instead settled for $12,000. Seven months later, they kidnapped Denver millionaire Charles Boettcher II and held them at Sankey's turkey ranch in South Dakota until they were paid $60,000.

In a matter of months, Sankey and Alcorn were considered two of the most sought-after outlaws in the country. Their successful kidnappings were imitated by many in the Midwest underworld, such as the 1933 kidnapping of Charles Urschel by Albert Bates and George "Machine Gun" Kelly.

Ironically, it was the high-profile kidnappings of William Hamm, Jr. and Edward Bremer by the Barker Gang that led to their downfall. As the authorities were not yet aware of the existence of the Barkers, the kidnappings were blamed on Sankey and Alcorn, who were quickly tracked down by the FBI.

On June 15, 1933, the Barker–Karpis gang kidnapped William Hamm of Hamm's Brewery and released him on June 19, 1933. The ransom from this kidnapping netted $100,000. They then kidnapped Edward Bremer in daylight in St. Paul in January 1934, releasing him in February. The ransom from this kidnapping turned out to be $200,000. However, these kidnappings brought too much negative publicity, due to the recent Urschel and Lindbergh Kidnappings, and the fact that the father of the Bremer Jr. was a personal friend of President Roosevelt, who mentioned the kidnappings in a fireside chat. On November 27, 1934, Lester "Baby Face Nelson" Gillis, at that time the Public Enemy No. 1, was mortally wounded in a gun battle with the FBI and died later that night. The next day, Alvin Karpis was declared Public Enemy No. 1, which brought the full force of the FBI down on the Barker-Karpis Gang.

"Ostensibly a South Dakota farmer, Sankey moved to Denver with the idea of kidnapping a wealthy businessman. One name on Sankey's short list of four candidates was Adolph Coors, Jr. But Charlie Boetcher seemed the better victim, especially after Sankey and a confederate spotted Boetcher and his wife driving about town," wrote Sandra Dallas, in a 2010 Denver Post review of a book by Timothy W. Bjorkman, about Sankey and Boettcher kidnapping.

"The Press accused him of being behind almost every unsolved kidnapping in the country, including the murder of the Lindbergh baby, an accusation that infuriated Sankey, according to Dallas and Bjorkman.
"I am a man. I would kidnap a man,"  Sankey reportedly said. "I would never kidnap a child."

On January 31, 1934, Sankey was captured by police and federal agents at a barber shop in Chicago, Illinois. He was returned to South Dakota to stand trial for the Boettcher kidnaping, being held at the state prison in Sioux Falls for added security; however, Sankey committed suicide before his trial by hanging himself in his cell with his necktie on February 8. Alcorn had been captured a week earlier and was sentenced to life imprisonment for Boettcher's kidnapping.

Years later, in February of 1960, Adolph Coors disappear while driving to work from his home in Morrison, Colorado. The grandson of the Coors' founder and and chairman of the Golden Brewery was kidnapped and held for ransom before being shot and killed.

Based on evidence in the case, the FBI launched one of the largest manhunts ever, in hopes of finding Joe Corbett.

Corbett, a Fulbright scholar at the University of Oregon, was headed to medical school when in 1951, he got into an altercation with an Air Force sergeant. During the fight, he shot the man and ended up pleading guilty to second degree murder. He was sent to San Quinten Prison for a number of years, and later to a less secure facility, from which he escaped and began living under the alias, Walter Osborne.

A little more than a week after Coors was kidnapped, a burned-up car found in Atlantic City, New Jersey, was traced back to Corbett. The yellow Mercury had been reported by witnesses in the area of the Coors' abduction. Dirt from the car was ultimately traced back to the area where Coors was taken hostage.

Seven months after the brewing magnate was grabbed in 1960, his clothes were located in a dump near Sedalia, Colorado. His remains were later found nearby. A ransom letter was traced back to Joe Corbett's typewriter, and it was determined he had ordered hand cuffs, leg irons, and a gun through the mail in the months leading up to the kidnapping. The FBI distributed a million and half posters with Cobett's photo and tracked him though most of Canada, from Toronto to Vancouver, wher he was finally arrested.

Corbett never testified at his trial and never made any statement, but evidence convinced the jury to convict him in 1961. He was released in 1978. n 1996 Corbett gave his only interview following his release from prison; in it, he maintained his innocence. Corbett committed suicide on August 24, 2009.

Photo Information:

1. Charles Lindbergh
2. Adolph Coors
3.  Charles Boettcher
4. Joe Corbett.
5.  Verne Sankey
6. Bruno Richard Hauptmann

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Power of the world works in circles

"Everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the power of the world always works in circles, and everything tries to be round. In the old days when we were a strong and happy people, all our power came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation, and so long as the hoop was unbroken the people flourished ...  Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power whirls. Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves. Our tepees were round like the nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle, the nation's hoop."

___ Black Elk Speaks: 
being the life story of a holy man of the Ogalala Sioux (1961), 
as told to John Neihardt 

Comfortable, familiar, solid. Like hardware.

By Rob Carrigan,

I was thinking of Black Elk's pronouncement regarding the truths of the world. I remember the Amarillo Hardware salesman had great catalog, with a rounded leather loop, that snaked around and became a handle for a foot-thick volumn that he used to carry into Taylor Hardware, about twice a month.
The catalog had pictures and particulars, of about 40,000 items of common hardware and was the quick way to access items for sale without ginning up the Micro Fiche. At the time (more that 40 years ago,) but it took some 'know how' to access those particulars.
As a result, over time hardware became a metaphor for me. For knowledge, for experience, for the chance to learn ... and more.
Sort of like Black Elk's circles. But, in danger of mixing my metaphors, hardware was a kind of circle.
When ever in my life I sought to bring meaning and purpose and understanding, I often went back to the hardware store of my youth for those items. My experience, the lessons learned, the act of gathering knowledge all returned there.
Like the big ol' rounded, leather-covered hardware catalog, with its rounded rope-like handles that looped around it and held it together — the hardware looped around me and held me together.
Of course, like Black Elk and the hardware store, various versions of circle theory have come to surface in other forms.
Joseph Campbell’s 17 Stages of the Monolyth story structure is too complicated for screenwriters, Dan Harmon (creator and writer behind Community and Rick and Morty) and his Circle Theory of Story is an easier option that you can apply to the development of your stories and characters.
Based on the best selling book Third Circle Theory, Pejman Ghadimi author and creator of the Third Circle system takes you into a step by step breakdown and explanation of the key points found in each circle. "Expect appearances and discussions with Third Circle Readers including experienced Entrepreneurs. This 5 hour HD course was in the making for over a full 6 months in the hopes of helping more people discover how powerful being purposeful can be. It is a visual supplement to one of the most ground breaking modern concepts of Entrepreneurship."
But those, to me, seem too complicated for the truths that Black Elk spoke of.
It is probably closer to the ideas that J. K Rowling noted in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"
“Which came first, the phoenix or the flame?'
'Hmm . . . What do you think, Harry?' said Luna, looking thoughtful.
'What? Isn’t there just a password?'
'Oh no, you’ve got to answer a question,' said Luna.
'What if you get it wrong?'
'Well, you have to wait for somebody who gets it right,' said Luna. 'That way you learn, you see?'
'Yeah . . . Trouble is, we can’t really afford to wait for anyone else, Luna.'
'No, I see what you mean,' said Luna seriously. 'Well then, I think the answer is that a circle has no beginning.'
'Well reasoned,' said the voice, and the door swung open.”
A real circle is simple, easy to understand, with rounded-off edges and smooth traveling. Comfortable, familiar, solid. Like hardware. 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

"Lady of Death" visits, but tells no tales

Of the 10 most famous myths and legends of Irish folklore, the fairies reside on the top shelf.
"It is said that they live in “cnocs” (hollow hills, in Irish), which are located in the “sidhe”. The “sidhe” are mounds where megalithic monuments are erected in many places on the island. 
One of the most famous legends about fairies is that referring to the “Lady of Death,” a fairy that appears during the night with hair loose and red eyes. According to the lore, it is said that she arrives at the home of a family to mourn for several days the death that will fall on one of its members, says Ireland Before You Die (IB4UD).

In real life, often too few clues, confusion of possible or conflicting circumstances, resist apprehension

By Rob Carrigan,

Unsolved murders make an early appearance in the Pikes Peak area. These matters, as in most such stories, seem to come in threes.
"The ideal detective story is on in which dogged perseverance on the part of detectives, and their ability to ferret out clues, tend to bring the villain to justice," wrote Carl F. Mathews back in the early1960s. Mathews spent his 32-year career doing just that, retiring as the superintendent of the Bureau of Identification for Colorado Springs Police Department.
"However, in real life, there is often too few clues or else confusion of possible or conflicting circumstances, which resist the identification or apprehension of suspects."
After his retirement, Mathews often wrote of unsolved cases.
A transcript on file in the Pioneer's Museum of Colorado Springs concerns the case before David Spielman, first coroner of El Paso County. 
It reads, in part:
"An inquisition holden at Colorado City in the County of El Paso, on the 18th day of September, A.D. 1869, before David Spielman, Coroner of said county, on the dead body of William Carrolton, lying there dead, by the jurors whose names are hereunto subscribed, the said jurors upon their oath do say that the aforesaid deceased came to his end on road leading from Pueblo to Colorado City, by five balls, one of which penetrated the neck, one the arm, one the point of the shoulder, and two the body in the region of the heart. The balls appeared to be buckshot, probably fired by one gun, by a person unknown. In the testimony whereof, the said Jurors, have hereto set their hands, the day and year aforesaid. C.E. Myers, Wray Beattie, John Langmeyer, Emile Gerung, Thomas Hunt, Thomas T. Reilly."
Other unsolved murders followed in the region.
A letter to the "Weekly Gazette," published on March 21, 1875, conveyed the information that two bodies of two persons had been found on the plains east of Fountain, on Saturday, March 13.
"On Monday, Esquire Perkins summoned a jury and proceeded to the spot. On arriving there, the bodies were found to be covered with snow, and on removing the snow, it was found that the flesh was entirely gone from the bones. Examination showed one to be a man, the other to be a woman, both apparently about twenty-five years of age. Both had been wearing ordinary clothing but no boots or shoes were found. Except for a small lead pencil in the vest pocket, nothing was found except the rim of a .44 center fire cartridge near the remains," reported Mathews, years later.
"The corpses were found about 100 yards south of the road leading from Fountain to Perkins' ranch on Squirrel Creek, and about fourteen miles east of Fountain. The bodies had been thrown tall course grass, which prevented them from being seen from the road. The impression was that they were immigrants and had been murdered and thrown there sometime during the previous summer. The remains and clothing were being kept at Ames' store in Fountain in the hope that some identification could be made. Eastern papers were asked to please copy," it was reported.
Years passed, and other unsolved murders were reported, but none so tragic as the August 23, 1923, story of young bride, brutally slain.
"Elsie Jogenson Suttle, 17-year-old bride of barely five weeks, was brutally murdered in her bedroom, within hearing distance of a number of men, none of whom heard anything unusual or saw any trace of the murderer. Workmen on the roof an adjoining house and members of the family in the back yard failed to hear any sound of a struggle. The first person to discover the brutal assault was Mrs. Richard Suttle, mother-in-law of the girl, upon here return about 10 a.m. from a marketing trip," Mathews wrote.
"Mrs. Suttle opened the door of the bedroom, and the tragedy was disclosed; her screams aroused and brought here husband from the pavement, not thirty fee distant, where he had been working. From across the street, brought by Mrs. Suttle's screams, came S.J. Wilson, of 501 Cascade, and T.J. Parks of 111West Moreno, who was working next door. The District Attorney's office authorized the Denver Police Department to hold Mrs. E.C. Lowe, mother of the girl (why, I never found out,)" Mathews said.
"Mrs. Suttle related that she had called Elsie about 8:30 that morning to say, 'Elsie, that same fellow's at the door," and received the reply; 'Oh, to h--l with him.'"
Shortly after, the elder woman went shopping. Between then and 10 a.m., the girl was clubbed to death.
Physicians, including a brain specialist performed an autopsy and the coroner in this case declared the wounds which laid the girl's scalp open and cracked the skull must have been been given by a blunt instrument, presumably a hammer, a pistol butt or hatchet. She was beaten down with one blow, and then hit again and again, was the opinion expressed by those performing the autopsy.
To complicate the mystery, "Under the girl's pillow had been found five threatening letters, simply signed "Jack," and the mark of suspicion was turned upon him. He was said to be between 21 and 25 years of age, medium height, dressed in a hiking suit with polished leather puttees, and said to have been carrying a pack or blanket roll on his back.
Several complicated arrests were made following, including a Cuban-born Denver Cobbler, named Jack Fernandez, the girl's step-father Jorgenson, who in turn accused the Suttle family of the dastardly dead. Another character, Henry Waklin, was also picked up in Flagstaff, Arizona, and was said to match the description of the 'leather-putteed' suspect. He told a number of unreliable stories about his whereabouts at the time of the killing, but eventually proved to have an alibi in Dodge City, Kansas that ruled him out.
The case was eventually marked "closed." None of various suspects were charged with the crime, or ever called to atone for the murder.
As Mathews would note: Another unsolved mystery. Fortunately, "These are few in number compared with the cases which were solved."
The "Lady of Death" arrives and mourns at the victim's family home, but in her fairy way, she is not always clear as to the precise circumstances.

Photo Info:
View of the Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, shows a nine-story Italianate structure by architects Warren and Wetmore, with hipped terra-cotta roofs, friezes, a cupola with weather vane, and an arcaded entry. The Italian fountain (installed 1923, same year as the Lady of Death visits Elsie Jogenson Suttle,) in the foreground is surrounded by lawn, balustrades, trees, and paved drives. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Druggist shot — Diamonds displayed too carelessly

Prominent resident since 1892, liquor dealer, and druggist, is victim of foul play

By Rob Carrigan,

The advice that suggests, "if you got it, flaunt it," is perhaps not so sound as it seems. Otto Fehringer found that out the hard way about his flashy diamond jewelry, worn everyday, as he discovered himself on the wrong end of the of .41 caliber Colt revolver — and later died with a slug in his liver.
"About 6 o'clock on the evening of Feb. 19, 1908, Otto Fehringer, a well-known druggist and wholesale liquor dealer was taken by a stranger to Templeton Gap, about three miles north-east of Colorado Springs for the purpose of going to Austin Bluffs to clean up a deal for some wines and liquors wanted by an "uncle" of the man," reported Carl F. Mathews,  whose paper on unsolved crimes appeared in several public presentations in 1962,.
 Mathews had served as superintendent of the Bureau of Identification for Colorado Springs Police Department for more than 32 years, retiring in 1952.
"There Fehringer was shot in the right side, and grabbed his assailant's gun which was wrested from him. He was then slugged four times on the head." continued Mathews story of the crime.
"The stranger demanded his valuables and Fehringer delivered a roll of bills, his diamond stud, and a ring, valued at $1,000. The robber ordered him to remain in the ditch, jumped into the buggy and drove toward the city.  Though wounded Fehringer managed to walk to the electric power plant a half-mile wet, where the sheriff's office was notified and he was taken to St. Francis Hospital in the city ambulance.  The wound was not considered fatal by Drs. O.E. Zillman and C. F. Stough. Detective Burno and Patton were assigned the case and the entire department under the direction of Chief Reynolds began the search for the robber. The horse and the phaeton were found by police about 9:30 p.m. in front of Weber Hall, corner of Weber and Kiowa. The outfit had been rented at the Kentucky Stables by an unknown man," it was reported.
Mathews said police were able to put together additional information leading up to the robbery. On the Tuesday previous, Fehringer had gone into the drug store of Albin and Corey, where unknown man had 'spotted' him, on account of his diamonds and asked who he was, what was his business, and so forth, which at the time occasioned no particular thought.
"It was learned that the man had entered the Fehinger drug store, 118 North Tejon Street, asked for Fehringer, went to his desk to talk to him for several minutes; he returned about 4:30 p.m., apparently by appointment, an Fehringer put on his coat and hat, left without telling anyone where he was going., as was his custom."
Fehringer  was connected in the city of Colorado Springs at the time, and intact, the City Council and Mayor Heiser offered a reward for $500 to capture the assailant. Fehringer's brother Adolph also offered $200.
It also turns out, that Fehringer had managed to hide $500 in vest pocket, that had become soaked in his own blood during the robbery. The robber only nabbed $10 in cash and two $100 checks in addition to the diamonds.
Police also learned that the stranger had gone to Klein's Pawn Shop and had traded a .38  caliber Iver-Johnson revolver for .41 caliber Colt six-shooter, giving for boot a gold ring set with three garnets, valued at about $20. Klein filled the gun with six cartridges made in 1896 an sold the man six more.
"A suspect, William Bienapil, was arrested at Powell's Chili Parlor on the 22nd by Detective Burno and Police Clerk Poiner, and was identified by several people; the next day he was taken to the hospital where Fehringer failed to identify him, as was the case on the following day when he was again taken to the hospital.. It was learned that Bienapil had been rooming at Ed Reinhardt's home, 101 South Weber, for some fourteen mounts, in the company with his brother Louis, a printer in the employ of Gowdy-Simmons. According to Reinhardt the man had come from Mankato, Minnesota, and worked for a time for the Interurban Railway as  repairman.
"On the 26th, Fehringer's condition was still serious and an operation was planned; on the 27th Bienapil was charged with shooting Fehringer, on a complaint sworn to by his brother, Adolph. But in a hearing held before Justice Dunning on March 2nd, he was released." reported Mathews.
The story then took an unexpected turn toward murder, when Otto Fehringer died on March 11. Doctors determined from autopsy the death was cause by an obstruction one of the large arteries and an abscess of the liver resulting from the gunshot wound. A bullet was found embedded in his liver.
Fehringer was buried on March 13, and that same day, Sam Barkwell, armed with a revolver, entered the house of deputy Sheriff Scofield, 220 South Cascade Avenue, where he was shot by Scofield when he threatened to kill the later.
"At that time, it was thought he might be the man who shot Fehringer; except as to weight, he closely resembled the description of the assailant. He had a long criminal record, being identified as Barkwell,  alias Sam Allen, alias John McDonald.," Mathews wrote.

Photo Info:
Trolley car number 74 stops at the Broadmoor Depot, Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado. Passengers come and go from the Colorado Springs and Interurban Railway line. The hip roof depot has an upper roofed observation deck.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

What are the chances of being murdered on America's Mountain?

Not out of the question to face foul play at above 14,000 feet

 By Rob Carrigan,

Pikes Peak can be a dangerous place. Today, you can wreck your car on the highway. Many have.  You can have a heart attack climbing, or perish because of altitude sickness, or have any number of bad things happen up there on  one of the more accessible 14ers in nation. But what are the chances of being murdered on America's Mountain?
Turns out, it is not out of the question.
From early records, as reported in New York Times, August 9, 1860, on Page 2 of the New York edition with the headline: Life at Pikes Peak:  TWO MURDERS IN THREE DAYS, A VIGILANCE COMMITTEE. 
"The Rocky Mountain News, of the 25th, gives full details of several murders lately committed at Pikes Peak. One of the guilty parties was JAMES A. GORDON, who became engaged in a quarrel with the barkeeper of a saloon where he had been indulging freely in liquor, and finally shot him, inflicting a dangerous wound. This outrage he followed up, on the next day but one, the 16th, of July, by shooting and instantly killing one GANTZ, another barkeeper in the same town. Then GORDON thought it was time to put himself beyond the reach of the law. No one started in pursuit until the next morning after the murder had been committed, and then all efforts to arrest the scoundrel proved unavailing," the paper reported, according to the other paper.
But there is more:
"On Sunday, the 20th, a bar-tender. BILL BATES by name, shot and instantly killed Mr. M.F. HADLEY, an auctioneer. It was claimed that this affair was accidental, and the Vigilance Committee to which the case was submitted so decided, censuring BATES at the same time, for his careless use of deadly weapons," The Rocky Mountain News related and the Times relayed to readers.
Some of the proceedings of this Committee, the organization, of which was provoked by the outrages committed by GORDON, are thus sketched by the News:
"The trial of SAMUEL K. DUNN, for mule stealing, took place. A jury of twelve men was impaneled. Several witnesses were examined, whose testimony established the fact that three stolen mules were found in possession of three men, of whom DUNN was one. DUNN made a statement to the jury, admitting that, though he did not steal the mules himself, he knew that they were stolen, and was riding one of them back to the States, being anxious to get home again, and having no other way to go. The jury, of course, found him guilty, and he was sentenced, to receive twenty-five lashes at 7 o'clock last evening, and to leave the country within twenty-four hours. In reply to the question, where would the prisoner be whipped some said on the back, and others said he would be whipped on the bottom -- meaning of course the Platte bottom. Accordingly, at the appointed hour, the sentence, to the extent of nineteen lashes, was duly executed in the presence of a large crowd of spectators assembled to witness the agony and debasement of a victim quicker than they could have been drawn together by the inauguration of a President or the coronation of a Prince. At the nineteenth stroke the poor fellow fell and the flagellation ceased. His wounds, as well as himself, were dressed, and he is probably now far on his way hence, realizing the fact that "the way of the transgressor is hard."That was with early arrivals of "so-called" civilized settlers from the east, early in Colorado's written history.
A few years later, it had not improved much.
"On the morning of August 19, 1897, two men, George Reed, of Buttes, Colorado, and H.A. Barclay of Denver, walking down from the summit of Pikes Peak on the Cog Railway, noticed the legs of a man sticking from the culvert about three-fourths of a mile from the summit," reported local papers at the time.
"Investigation show great spots of blood scattered over the track, and a revolver with one chamber discharged, about ten feet away," noted Carl F. Mathews, who was superintendent of the Colorado Springs Police Department's Bureau of Identification, writing many years later about the incident for a paper the Denver Westerners.
"The men hastened down to the Saddle House where they notified the foreman of the section gang, and continued on. Before they arrived at Manitou, the management had been notified by telephone, but the men again stopped and notified Manager Sells, who in turn telephoned Sheriff Boyington. Coroner Marlow was in Cripple Creek, but his assistant was notified and went to the Peak on the afternoon train, arriving back in Colorado Springs with body about 6 o'clock," reported Mathews.
"Upon examination, a bullet hole was found in the head, the shot having been fired at close range as the hair was burned. The victim was about 25 years of age, nearly six feet tall, slender build and about 175 pounds in weight; fairly well-dressed. No papers in any pocket, but on the inside coat pocket, a tag with the makers name and also, 'E.M. Kirton, Wisner, Nebr. April 16, 1897.'"
The body was eventually identified as Herbert H. Kay, of Wisner, Nebr.
From more investigation, it was determined that Kay had nearly $200 on his person when he started up the Peak on the night of August 18, and had been staying at room on Ruxton Avenue in Manitou, and had asked his land lady to prepare a lunch for himself and two friends that he had met, and planned to watch the sunrise at the summit. She prepared a lunch of eight sandwiches and a pie, and Kay departed.
"A possible clue was given by Dr. Fraker and a Mr. Meyers. Dr. Fraker had employed a 19-year-old youth as an office boy, who gave the name of J.B Edmunds. The doctor was abscent from the office Monday, Edmunds took advantage of his absence to take a good portion of the doctor's wardrobe and to to decamp. Early Thursday morning, the 19th, Mr. Meyers had met two men coming down the Cog Road, one of them answering the description of Edmunds, and both had blood on their coats," Mathews report said.
On August 26, Edmunds was arrested in Kansas City. On his arrest he became very angry and before being told why he was wanted, said "I was in Larned, Kansas, on August 19th."
He was convinced to return to Colorado Springs.
A strange turn was taken in the case.
"Two young ladies who said they had seen the stranger in Kay's company the night previous to the murder were taken to the county jail and viewed Edmunds in the clothing worn on his last day in Colorado Springs; and then saw him in ordinary attire. The girls talked to him about 15 minutes, but told the sheriff that they could not identify him. According to the papers, "they were of more than ordinary intelligence."
Edmunds was release shortly afterward, on Sept. 10.
But according to Kansas papers, a year later,  the jury in the case of one Shirley D. Chamberlin (with a possible alias of Edmunds?) was charged with the murder of Herbert H. Kay, of Wisner, Neb., on Pike's Peak, in August last, brought in a verdict of murder in the first degree. "The case is the most sensational one in the history of El Paso county, and has attracted widespread interest, owing to the place where the deed was committed," noted several Kansas publications, at the time.
Following the rule of threes, and the reportage of these three separate murders, it does seem possible that one does realize — at least at some level, a measure of risk — when one considers the possibility of being murdered on Pike Peak.